Awarded to cxpartners

Start date: Friday 1 June 2018
Value: £600,000
Company size: large
Public Health England

Talk to Frank

9 Incomplete applications

5 SME, 4 large

27 Completed applications

22 SME, 5 large

Important dates

Monday 19 February 2018
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 26 February 2018 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 5 March 2018 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
To perform Discovery, and subject to mutual agreement, Alpha, Beta and Live phases of service development to support the Government Drug Strategy, specifically the ‘Talk to FRANK’ service
Latest start date
Friday 30 March 2018
Expected contract length
24 months (Total duration of all phases of project)
Organisation the work is for
Public Health England
Budget range
Between £200,000 and £250,000 (excluding VAT) for all phases.

About the work

Why the work is being done
The existing FRANK programme supports Public Health England’s strategic priority in “ensuring every child has the best start in life” and is a key part of the reducing demand and reducing harm strands of the Government Drug Strategy.
The current FRANK website is built on outdated technology that has passed its serviceable life and does not conform to user needs or the Government Digital Services (GDS) standards.
There is, therefore, an opportunity to build on existing research and knowledge to explore the digital component of the FRANK programme and deliver a better service to the public
Problem to be solved
Insight is required about the users of FRANK, their needs and information such as where they have heard of FRANK, what sites they have come from etc.
To determine whether the current FRANK digital service meets both the current government policy and the needs of the current and future users.
To determine whether an updated version of the FRANK service, other existing services or no digital intervention will best meet the needs of the users.
Any outcomes, digital or otherwise, must be undertaken in-line with the Government Digital Service set of standards
Who the users are and what they need to do
The main users are 14 – 18 year olds in the UK who require accurate information about drugs and drug use presented in a form that is compatible with the government policy of reducing demand and harm.
Secondary users are ‘concerned others’ ranging across a variety of age groups, but unified in seeking advice to better understand the drug usage / addiction of a friend or relative.
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
An internal Pre-Discovery phase has been completed.
This consisted of research work to better understand the current user-base of the site. The research explored brand awareness, user needs around drug information and specific concerns of ‘at-risk’ groups.
Existing team
The work will be with the PHE Digital Marketing team, PHE Marketing, Digital Team, PHE staff more broadly and a national network of stakeholders.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
The work can be performed from any location, but it will be co-ordinated by staff in PHE’s London Offices.
Working arrangements
Work may be carried out from multiple locations including the Supplier’s offices. Attendance at PHE Offices in London and in other locations around England will be required for meetings. Supplier staff are expected to be on-site at PHE locations sufficient to manage relationships with senior stakeholders; the exemplar project team and users; and, stakeholders and users in other organisations so that the outcomes of the project may be met.
Security clearance
Not required.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • E1) Recent and demonstrable experience in conducting the Discovery phase of projects relating to usage of digital solutions in the health sector including a link to a relevant case study
  • E2) Recent and demonstrable experience of applying the principles of user centred design to the development of digital solutions.
  • E3) Demonstrable experience of designing and/or assessing digital tools to attract and meet the needs of a diverse range of users.
  • E4) Recent and demonstrable experience of working with organisations to change their way of working including introducing service design or user-centred design methodologies
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • N1) Recent and demonstrable engagement with public sector organisations, such as central and local government, particularly relating to public health.
  • N2) Experience of working with a group of stakeholders including healthcare experts, healthcare providers, digital development teams, and the general public.
  • N3) Recent and demonstrable experience of working with interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary project teams including clinical and research science project members
  • N4) Recent and demonstrable engagement with hard to reach groups and/or users including users with limited digital skills.
  • N5) Recent and demonstrable experience of integrating insight from scientific disciplines such as health economics into the development of digital solutions.
  • N6) Recent and demonstrable experience of working with and deploying to cloud based infrastructures.
  • N7) Experience of transitioning high traffic ‘live’ services and products to new platforms.

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • P1) Proposed approach to conducting the Discovery and Alpha phases of a multidisciplinary public health project. (max score 30)
  • P2) Proposed approach to applying the principles of user centred design; user insights; policy and scientific evidence to the development of digital solutions. (max score: 30)
Cultural fit criteria
  • The shortlisted suppliers will be required to demonstrate cultural fit through an ‘agency pitch’ style presentation summarising the proposal and technical aspects of it. In addition, how they propose to:
  • C1) work within the constraints of public sector organisations including budgets, timescales and change (max score 6)
  • C2) work with a range of stakeholders including ones that have little knowledge of agile or user-centred design (max score 6)
  • C3) work with stakeholders that from a range of disciplines including science, technology and policy that have apparently opposing interpretations of project goals (max score 8).
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Case study
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. Please could you confirm the maximum day rate of the role?
This DOS advertisement is for an outcome not a specialist / role
2. Is the budget outlined the budget for all phases of delivery?
Yes. Discovery and potentially Alpha, Beta and Live.
3. Please could you advise IR35 status of the role?
This DOS advertisement is for an outcome not a specialist / role hence IR35 status is not applicable.
4. As you have stated the budget is for all possible phases of the project, can you please an indication of the share of the budget stated allocated to each individual phase of the project?
The allocation of funds per phase has not been fully determined. Shortlisted suppliers will be asked to propose a budget allocation per phase.
5. What technology stack do you use for the current website?
The current site is built on a Drupal CMS with PHP framework. It is hosted on a rackspace instance.
6. Are you looking to use technologies preferred by GDS, i.e. Ruby on Rails or Python?
Suppliers will be expected to justify their selection of technologies as part of this process. Relating these choices back to GDS standards and recommendations, open source standards and general usage in market will help to form such a case.
7. Are you able to share the outcomes of the pre-discovery work?
This will be made available to short listed suppliers at the Request for Proposal Stage
8. Do you have access to an engaged set of users?
Data gathered from a selection of users will be made available to the successful supplier, including data gathered from engaged users. There is no mechanism for ongoing engagement with these users, however. Suppliers should not rely on this as a means to continue user testing.
9. Is it possible to see the internal Pre-Discovery phase report? And do you have any requirements documents that can be shared at this point?
The pre-discovery phase report will be made available to shortlisted suppliers. No further information will be provided at this point.
10. Will you be able to provide the (key) pre-Discovery findings / documents to shortlisted agencies?
The pre-discovery phase report will be made available to shortlisted suppliers.
11. How will the price score be calculated – in particular, which phases will this be based on (e.g. the Alpha budget only)?
The scoring for price will be for the discovery and alpha phases of the project. However, only shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a price at the Request for Proposal stage, where more information will be given. Please also see the answer to question 4 of this opportunity.
12. Does the overall budget include any or all of the following: site support after go live; further research and iteration after go live; managed cloud hosting; content creation and/or editorial?
The overall budget is allocated for Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live only. Costs for ongoing hosting, maintenance and content work for the new service will fall under a separate budget and statement of work.
13. Are you able to help with recruiting users for research?
PHE is able to advise on recruiting users as part of research, but is unable to provide a specific means of recruitment.
14. What is the target timeline for this project (e.g. for key phases)?
Discovery is expected to last approximately 8 weeks. Timelines for subsequent phases are yet to be determined and may depend on the findings of the discovery phase. However, the current website will have to be retired in September 2018. A well-developed or stable live version of the site will have to be in-place by this point.
15. You are scoring price as 20%. Is the scoring based on just the Discovery price? Or the total of Discovery/Alpha/Beta/Live?
The scoring for price will be for the Discovery and Alpha phases. However, only shortlisted suppliers will be asked to submit a price at the Request for Proposal stage, where more information will be given. Please also see the answer to question 4 of this opportunity.
16. You are scoring against "Proposed approach to conducting the Discovery and Alpha phases of a multidisciplinary public health project.". However you are asking for a price for Discovery/Alpha/Beta/Live. Please could you clarify if there are any marks on offer for the approach to Beta/Live?
Only shortlisted suppliers will be asked to answer proposal criteria and submit a price at the Request for Proposal stage, when more information will be given.
17. Can you clarify what is required for the case study in q 1? How much detail are you expecting? Should it be published on the internet or are you expecting a link to a shared document somewhere? If so, what format should this be? I.e. google docs, office 365/word?
It is up to the supplier to determine the case study that they feel is the most relevant to the question and the detail contained within. There is no format for the case study providing a working link is provided and the case study can be accessed.
18. How many web pages do you have?
There are currently 2089 pages. A large number of these are representative of legacy structures and content that will be retired as part of the transition.
19. Is there anything behind a login on the site?
There is no plan to have anything behind a login for the new service.
20. Is there a planned refresh of the campaign activity alongside this project?
There is intention of conducting low-key campaign activity, but this falls outside the remit of this specific project.
21. Can you share the outputs of the pre-Discovery and other research?
The pre-discovery report will be made available to short listed suppliers at the Request for Proposal Stage. Additional research will be made available to the winning supplier.
22. Is the 'Talk to Frank' programme itself still in line with government policy?
Public Health England policy colleagues maintain an ongoing involvement with the Talk to FRANK service and have been engaging with this project since inception. The successful supplier will receive ongoing guidance from policy as part of their work.
23. What are the broader procurement timescales post the 5th March submission?
This is yet to be determined.
24. Do you have a view on the length (time) of the Discovery phase?
Approximately 8 weeks.
25. Question E1 - do you want the case study to demonstrate the process or just the outcome, or both?
Demonstration of competency in both process and outcomes would likely demonstrate ability with regards to this project.